Building new technology is no longer the sole responsibility of professional developers. Gartner® estimates that “by 2024, 80% of technology, products, and services will be built by those who are not technology professionals,” and this trend will bring a slew of nontraditional competitors to “one-third of technology providers.”*
The growing adoption of data and AI-driven applications, application composition using business services, process automation, and workflow is setting the stage for low-code and no-code development. By democratizing the sourcing of digital advancements from new communities of citizen developers including non-IT employees, customers, and partners, businesses can accelerate the creation and delivery of much-needed solutions.
Just think of the possibilities: you can efficiently pull together for your workforce mobile apps, analytics dashboards, or simple applications that could fundamentally change how employees work, customers engage, and suppliers collaborate. For the German Foreign Ministry, that moment was achieved when they delivered a secure, scalable cloud-based app within 24 hours to repatriate thousands of Germans living or travelling abroad during the onset of COVID-related travel restrictions.
For the German Foreign Ministry and many more SAP customers, on-demand delivery of technology innovations without IT intervention is enabled through the use of SAP Extension Suite. The suite includes the application development and process automation components of SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).
Here are some of their stories, as they leveraged the availability of hundreds of low-code and no-code packages for automation tools, applications, and prebuilt content.
Meeting the needs of the market now and in the future
Automotive company Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Ltd. (TCMA) is transforming its business and IT processes to deliver innovative mobility services to its customers. To optimize its Lexus extended loyalty program, the company decided to extend its IT systems with SAP BTP and integrate complex processes that reside across its landscape.
SAP partner Bourne Digital applied our human-centered approach to innovation to transform enterprise applications into customer value. This task was accomplished within 20 weeks by leveraging the Cloud Integration capability within SAP Integration Suite and the business rules capability of the SAP Extension Suite service, SAP Workflow Management. In return, Toyota and Bourne Digital integrated various IT systems and implemented SAPUI5, which provided a rich user experience without any bugs reported after go-live.
With its new, integrated “Cloud Rewards Management” solution, TMCA business staff now has a set of account management services and applications accessed using SAP Cloud Portal service. The solution manages each extended loyalty account. It also automates and orchestrates the related transactions from dealers, service providers, and end customers. TMCA business staff also have access to real-time dashboards to report on the loyalty rewards accounts.
Increasing workforce productivity by removing redundancies
REHAU Polymer China Co. Ltd (REHAU) relies on an in-depth knowledge of materials and extensive experience in technologies and manufacturing processes to meet the wide-ranging needs of its customers from across industries. However, to protect its status as a leader in polymers, the polymer-based solutions provider knew it needed to create smoother customer experiences by revolutionizing its billing operation.
REHAU automated its use cases that previously required significant manual intervention and redundant work. By implementing SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation services, available through SAP Extension Suite, on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the company achieved greater process efficiency through automatic billing workflows.
The effort included uploading 1,000 financial accounting documents, turning four days of work into a 10-minute task. A bot was also created to process 3,000 production orders and close or delete another 3,000. By administering 500 orders per batch automatically, REHAU improved order closing to the point where an entire day’s work for one employee into a two-minute task for a bot.
While enabling employees to boost their efficiency and focus on more strategic goals, this fast-paced innovation also reduced human error in its billing process – giving its customers another reason to remain loyal.
Making more efficient use of existing technology investments
Accounting for approximately 20% of Australia’s total electricity generation, AGL Energy Limited (AGL) helps shape a sustainable energy future by encouraging customers to take greater control of their energy needs. A critical part of this strategy was giving its call center agents better access to its core systems and an optimized user experience.
AGL developed new persona-based mobile applications by using SAP Extension Suite and deployed the SAP User Experience Management application by Knoa to measure and optimize user performance across its SAP software landscape. This approach helped the firm gain insight into how its agents interact with its enterprise CRM solution, enhancing application use and user engagement.
AGL can identify ways to enhance the user journey and workflow by understanding the complexities within crucial business functions that in turn help users become more productive and support optimal customer interactions. For example, agents can use data-driven insights to resolve issues and help ensure customer-oriented processes run smoothly. They can also find training opportunities and adjust operations and workflows to improve performance and fine-tune business processes that directly affect user satisfaction and efficiency.
The project increased the efficiency and productivity of inspection planning and execution. In return, planning time became 25% shorter, and cost reductions increased 5% through workflow optimization, onshore and offshore travel avoidance, and regular remote inspections, audits, and certifications. AGL also expects to accelerate work execution by up to 30% with advanced augmented reality, mobile technology, and electronic checklists.
Amplifying employees’ contribution to business transformation
The more businesses need to change in simple, incremental ways, the more opportunity for citizen developers to take part in the company’s overall digital transformation journey.
SAP BTP includes a number of key components to help citizen developers to build solutions quickly. Our low-code and no-code capabilities are found, for example, in the SAP AppGyver tool, SAP Workflow Management service, SAP Mobile Services, SAP Business Application Studio, and SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation services.
Our applications and platform will continue to evolve to give our customers the ability to achieve business resiliency and responsiveness with defined compliance and security policies. But more importantly, people of all digital skills can create the solutions they need to make their work more efficient, enhance their customers’ experiences, and revolutionize how companies compete, win, and grow.
*Gartner Press Release, “Gartner Says the Majority of Technology Products and Services Will Be Built by Professionals Outside of IT by 2024,” June 14, 2021.
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